Pool is rapidly growing in popularity across South Africa and is the second largest participant sport in the country. The brand's interest in pool and dedication to the sport has grown during the past five years; during this time Ingwe has conceptualised and expanded the Mellow-Wood Inter-Tavern Pool Challenge from a dream that nobody thought possible to a popular phenomenon.
The Mellow-Wood Inter-Tavern Pool Challenge, launched in 2001, has raised the profile of pool in South Africa by bringing it to to ground level social players. The Challenge is targeted at males aged 22-45 years who frequent taverns and shebeens. It confirms Mellow-Wood Brandy as the pre-eminent brandy within the tavern environment and utilises pool as a platform to win the hearts and minds of the target audience.
'Loxion Pool', as it is now known, is played by social players in taverns countrywide. Each year the competition has been expanded due to increased demand from tavern owners countrywide.
Ingwe Communications' task is to activate the brand nationally during the course of the Challenge. This culminates in a national finals weekend in Gauteng where the National Champions are decided.
In addition to dressing the participating taverns with point-of-sale material and score boards, as well as the pool players in trendy Mellow-Wood-branded shirts, Ingwe visits the taverns during the league months and prepares a newsletter each quarter containing the league results and positions, photographs and profiles of participating teams and notification of any special prizes on offer. The Distell sales team is also on hand to encourage consumption through brand promotions and act as brand ambassadors.
According to Distell's Karl Schutte, the promotion is very successful with Ingwe Communcations meeting the brief every year.
"The Mellow-Wood Brandy Inter Tavern Pool Challenge has become an institution in taverns nationwide," he said. "Not only because the grand prize for the winning team is highly regarded, but because the Distell sales and brand activation teams work hard to keep Mellow-Wood foremost in the hearts and minds of the players and their supporters.
"We are confident that Mellow-Wood Brandy interacts with its target consumers in a manner that encourages them to support the brand," he said.Ingwe Communications is a Durban-based FCB South Africa Group agency specialising in research, brand health monitoring, new product development and promotions in the emerging market.